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Orr signs order to keep Council seats open

Kevyn Orr

Kevyn Orr

DETROIT – Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr issued July 8 Order No. 10, prescribing that vacancies on City Council will remain open until filled by the electorate at the Nov. 5 general election.

Specifically, the order states:

“Notwithstanding Section 3-105 of the Detroit City Charter, the Detroit City council shall no fill any vacancies that now exist or that may arise on the Council.  Such vacancies shall be filled by duly elected and qualified individuals through the November 2013 election process.”

Detroit City Council was scheduled to vote July 9 to replace the vacancies by former Pro Tem Gary Brown and Councilmember Kwame Kenyatta.

Orr’s order overrides the Detroit City Charter, which mandates the Council vote to replace members.

It was unclear, however, if the council would be guided by the 2012 charter or its earlier iteration, which stated the next highest vote getters should be appointed to the president and pro tem positions.

According to 2009 election results, that would be Saunteel Jenkins and Ken Cockrel Jr., respectively.

Yet, sources say there was political support for Jenkins for president and Andre Spivey for pro tem, which would go against precedent.

Both Jenkins and Spivey are running for reelection.

There is a question of whether the issues should even be voted on at the table.

Pugh was relieved of his pay and duties last week when Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr did not approve a request for medical leave from the council member.

Pugh disappeared recently after allegations emerged of inappropriate contact with an 18-year-old student at Frederick Douglass Academy, where Pugh operated a mentoring program.

One media report placed Pugh in Seattle, Wash. The former council president has not issued any statement about his whereabouts or allegations against him, which are now under investigation by the Madison Heights police department.

Brown resigned his position on council to take a $225,000 a year position with the EM’s office. Councilmember Kwame Kenyatta also resigned last month for health reasons.


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